Free early education for two-year-olds adopted or out of care

From September 2014, children aged two adopted from local council care or who left care under a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (formally known as a residence order*), will be entitled to 570 hours a year of free early education or childcare a year. This is often taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year.

The Government is extending the nursery education grant to these children in recognition of the difficult start in life they have endured and the real benefit early exposure to high quality early education can have in improving their life chances.

There is strong evidence to show that good quality early education at the age of two supports children's development. If you are a parent of an eligible child and you would like to take up the offer of a free place, you should contact your local council's Family Information Service for information about eligibility and the process for securing a place.

*From 22 April 2014, residence orders and contact orders were replaced by child arrangements orders (s8 Children Act 1989). Child arrangements orders are orders making arrangements about the person with whom a child lives or has contact. Only child arrangement orders relating to a child's living arrangements immediately after they leave local council care (looked after children) are relevant for the purpose of the two-year-old free entitlement.